Is Dial Soap Good for Acne Prone Skin?

Dial soap, renowned for its antibacterial properties, is a staple in many households.

However, many have wondered whether washing their face with this soap can help eliminate the accumulation of oil on the skin’s surface and neutralize the activity of bacteria responsible for causing acne.

Now, while Dial soap definitely contains potent antibacterial ingredients, washing your face with it won’t necessarily help clear your acne.

In fact, frequent dial soap use on the face will exacerbate inflammatory acne due to overdrying the skin and causing it to produce more pore-clogging oil to compensate for the lack of hydration.

Besides that, Dial soap can also lead to numerous side effects on the skin, including dryness, redness, irritation, and, surprisingly, sun damage.

Below, we will dive into why Dial soap shouldn’t be used as an acne treatment by describing its means of function and the potential detriment these can have on the skin.

1. Dial Weakens The Skin Barrier

Dial soap is effective in cleansing the skin and removing bacteria and oil.

However, the problem with this is that healthy skin needs these elements to maintain a healthy moisture barrier, keep the skin comfortable and hydrated, and protect it against more harmful pathogens and environmental aggressors.

Our skin is home to billions of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and mites that make up the skin microbiome.

This complex ecosystem plays a crucial role in maintaining our skin health by protecting against pathogenic microbes in the external environment.

Therefore, removing them with harsh antimicrobial components can lead to disruption, allowing these pathogenic microbes to colonize our skin and cause issues such as inflammation, allergies, irritations, and skin conditions.

On the other hand, our natural oil, known as sebum, is made up of components that protect against harsh environmental factors, including UV rays.

Therefore, removing it will leave your skin dry and incapable of protecting itself against these harmful factors, exacerbating sun sensitivity, sunburns, irritations, and inflammatory symptoms such as redness, peeling, and stinging.

This is why it’s important to use cleansers that will maintain this delicate balance while keeping the skin clean and free of accumulation.

On the other hand, completely stripping these components off can lead to skin issues down the line.

2. Dial Contains Harsh Active Ingredients

Dial soap is no stranger to controversy regarding some of its active ingredients.

The soap still has somewhat of a bad reputation for using triclosan, an ingredient that was banned by the FDA in 2016 due to the potential risks it poses to human health.

Triclosan is a potent antimicrobial component that kills bacteria by inhibiting the fatty acid biosynthetic pathway, which disrupts lipid synthesis and eventually kills the microorganism’s cell.

However, due to its lipophilic properties, triclosan is easily absorbed through the skin. Studies have confirmed that this antimicrobial ingredient was found in the urine of 75% of people who have been exposed to cosmetic and household products containing triclosan, indicating its ability to enter our bloodstream.

But the scary part about this component is that it has been linked to a myriad of potential health risks, from the risk of creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria to endocrine disruption, which means interfering with hormonal functions through its estrogenic and androgenic activity.

Finally, triclosan has also been linked to allergies and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, especially in children.

Now, upon the FDA banning this ingredient, Dial replaced triclosan with benzalkonium chloride.

However, this isn’t a much safer alternative, as benzalkonium chloride has also been linked to serious health concerns, including pulmonary toxicity and inflammation, along with skin irritation and inflammatory conditions such as dermatitis.

Additionally, it’s important to note that this ingredient has been deemed safe to be used topically in up to 0.1%.

Dial soap, on the other hand, contains 0.13% of the active ingredient, making it a much harsher and potentially unsafe component for skin health.

3. Dial Will Cause Your Skin to Produce More Oil

When the skin is stripped of its natural oil, it becomes dry and starts feeling threatened due to exposure to harsh environmental factors.

Therefore, to protect itself, the skin will start producing more oil to compensate for the loss.

This is why, while using stripping cleansers like Dial soap will remove the excess skin oil initially, you will actually trigger even more oil production in the long run.

Additionally, because your pores are small and can only accommodate a small amount of oil, the excess will get stuck on its way toward the skin surface, forming blockages that will attract certain strains of bacteria to feed on it.

This bacteria, known as C.acnes, will then overgrow through being fed by the blockages in our pores and trigger the immune system into reacting by sending white blood cells to fight the overgrowth and creating symptoms such as redness and swelling that we see on the skin as a pimple.

Therefore, using excessively drying and stripping cleansers can actually end up causing worse acne breakouts down the line.

4. Dial Doesn’t Contain Acne Fighting Components

Finally, besides wrecking our skin barrier, irritating our skin, and potentially increasing the risk of acne, Dial soap doesn’t contain any acne-fighting components that could potentially reduce the severity of this common inflammatory condition once it appears.

Dial soap is a basic cleanser consisting of antimicrobial components, surfactants, and preservatives, while acne is a condition that needs to be addressed with specific components such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids, which will encourage some cellular activity that will normalize the skin’s function.

For example, salicylic acid can help dissolve the clogs inside the pores and open up the passages for our natural oil to flow freely.

Benzoyl peroxide, on the other hand, infuses the pores with oxygen and destroys the airless environment, such as a blocked pore the acne-causing strain of bacteria prefers living in.

Finally, retinoids can speed up cellular turnover and prevent dead skin cells from sticking to the oil that’s already stuck inside the pores and creating an even bigger clog.

Therefore, it’s crucial to understand that while Dial soap may provide a temporarily clean feeling, it’s not equipped with the necessary components to combat acne effectively.

What is The Best Face Wash for Acne Breakouts?

Our top pick for the best face wash for acne breakouts is the Clearstem GENTLECLEAN Vitamin Infused Calming Wash.

This face wash has a unique formula that’s infused with vitamins and antioxidants, which help recover cellular damage and combat inflammation, which are two key factors in the development of this inflammatory condition.

Moreover, the GENTLECLEAN Vitamin Infused Calming Wash is designed to thoroughly cleanse your skin and remove daily accumulation of dirt and debris while also keeping it hydrated and its microbiome nourished, which is another key component of healthy skin.

Finally, due to its gentle formula, the Vitamin Infused Calming Wash is fantastic for all skin types and concerns and can be safely used even by those whose skin is extremely sensitive and reactive, such as after wrecking your barrier with the usage of other harsh washes.

GENTLECLEAN – Vitamin Infused Calming Wash

Mild yet powerful in eliminating everyday grime, makeup, and accumulated oil, the Clearstem GENTLECLEAN Vitamin Infused Calming wash maintains the skin’s moisture barrier and nourishes its delicate microbiome, guaranteeing your skin stays feeling comfortable, plump, and hydrated post-cleansing.

GoodGlow Score

4.9 /5 5/5 Product Rating


Hydrates while it cleanses, removes waterproof makeup, and is gentle enough to use morning and night


Purifying, Detoxing & Restoring

Super gentle daily cleanser for acne-prone & sensitive skin


Real Ingredients. Real Results

Formulated with green tea, goldenseal, and vitamin c

Vegan - Clean Ingredients

Clean Formula

No hormone distruptors, no toxins, cruelty free, gluten free, vegan, and silicon free

  • Green tea – Green tea is a natural antioxidant and has very powerful antimicrobial properties, making it a key ingredient in thoroughly cleansing the surface of the skin. The compound EGCG that’s found in green tea is known for its acne-fighting benefits.
  • Goldenseal – Like green tea, goldenseal is a powerful plant extract known for its antibacterial benefits. It contains a compound called berberine, which has a powerful astringent effect on mucous membranes making it a key acne-fighting ingredient.
  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which helps reduce skin redness that’s caused by acne breakouts. Vitamin C works to brighten skin complexion and even skin tone.

Water/Aqua, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Methyl Oleoyl Taurate, Sorbitan Oleate Decylglucoside Crosspolymer, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Sclerotium Gum, Polysorbate 20 (naturally derived), Lauryl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract*, Allantoin, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Emblica Officinalis Fruit Extract, Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Seed Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Capsaicin (Vitamin C Bioflavinoid), Hesperidin (Vitamin C Bioflavinoid), Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Oil , Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract. Certified Organic*

The Clearstem GENTLECLEAN Vitamin Infused Calming Wash is loaded with skin-beneficial ingredients that help repair damaged cells and soothe active inflammation.

Consisting of antioxidants such as vitamin C that neutralizes free radical activity and boosts cellular function, along with gentle and soothing green tea and goldenseal, a powerful plant extract with mild antibacterial properties to help prevent pathogenic overgrowth without tipping the microbiome’s balance, the calming wash is ideal for anyone dealing with skin sensitivities and inflammatory conditions such as acne.

With a smooth and gentle consistency that lathers up when in contact with water, the GENTLECLEAN Vitamin Infused Calming Wash is a pleasure to use while effectively lifting impurities and leaving your skin feeling fresh and revitalized without any tightness or discomfort.

Clearstem GENTLECLEAN Vitamin Infused Calming Wash Pros:

  • Gentle and nourishing on the skin.
  • Leaves a fresh and hydrated feeling behind.
  • Contains anti-inflammatory components to soothe irritation.
  • Contains mild antibacterial ingredients to prevent the overgrowth of pathogens.
  • Effectively lifts daily impurities.

Clearstem GENTLECLEAN Vitamin Infused Calming Wash Cons:

  • None!

What is The Best Way to Clear Acne Breakouts?

The best way to clear acne breakouts is by addressing the root cause of your acne, which often lies beneath your skin’s surface.

Skincare products are helpful in addressing the external part of the equation, which is inflammation on the skin’s surface and clogged pores, by minimizing redness and irritation, dissolving the blockages, and allowing the natural oil to flow freely to the skin’s surface.

Medication, on the other hand, can be an effective bandaid solution that will minimize inflammation and the severity of pimples temporarily to prevent permanent scarring.

However, acne is an inflammatory skin condition that can be caused by many factors, and internal imbalances such as hormonal dysfunction caused by an inflammatory diet often play a big role in its formation.

This is because certain foods can trigger inflammation that will cause a hormonal imbalance, which will then lead to certain imbalanced hormones overstimulating the glands that produce our skin oil, resulting in increased oil production and subsequent clogging and inflammation.

Therefore, adopting a balanced, nutrient-rich diet along with a complete skincare routine is a vital part of a holistic approach to managing and preventing acne.

Can Dial Soap Help Remove Excess Skin Oil?

Yes, Dial soap can temporarily remove excess skin oil. However, this action will severely dry out the skin, resulting in more oil production as the skin attempts to compensate for the lack of hydration and protection against environmental factors.

Additionally, by removing your skin oil with Dial soap, you are also increasing the risk of experiencing discomfort such as redness, itchiness, stinging, cracking, and even scarring, as our skin oil has healing properties that prevent wounds from becoming infected and leaving a scar once they heal.

Is Dial Soap Good for Your Skin?

Dial soap is rarely a good skincare product to use for 99% of people.

This wash contains harsh active ingredients that have been linked to health concerns and inflammatory skin conditions.

Additionally, Dial soap doesn’t contain any acne-fighting ingredients and can actually exacerbate this inflammatory condition by drying out the skin and causing it to produce more pore-clogging oil.

Moreover, Dial soap can also weaken the skin barrier and cause an imbalance in the delicate microbiome, leading to more serious skin conditions, including permanent issues such as dermatitis.

And while there is no “one size fits all” product for healthy skin, Dial soap is simply too harsh for most skin types, and with so many fantastic and affordable facial cleansers on the market, you are sure to find something that will address your skin concerns without damaging your skin.

Originally Published: October 18, 2023

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Analyzed by Simone Sydel

Hi, I’m Simone Sydel, a licensed esthetician and acne expert dedicated to helping others solve their skin issues including acne, eczema, and UV damage. I specialize in testing and reviewing the latest acne treatments and beauty products, offering honest, practical advice for skincare. I’ve helped hundreds of clients clear their skin and my skincare product reviews have been read by several hundred thousand people. Thanks for visiting!

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